The £110m flop, whose relaunch could teach Chelsea an important lesson in the transfer market

A disappointment for Atlético Madrid. A frustrating flop for a failing Chelsea team.

A player with immense talent, but who had failed to live up to the years of hype and the £110 million fee hanging around his neck – and now, unexpectedly, an instant success at Barcelona.

Things are finally going well for João Félix.

Last night he scored two goals in Barcelona’s comfortable 5-0 win over Royal Antwerp in the Champions League. Reputations aren’t built by scoring in such one-sided games, but perhaps they can be revived by adding an assist and another goal in an equally great win against Real Betis last weekend.

Félix has now scored three goals and created one goal, which equates to as many goals in 142 minutes as he managed in 20 games for Chelsea last season.

And it’s not just the numbers that tell of a man reborn after years of struggle to realize his obvious potential.

All the style and elegant ball control that made people swoon when he rose through the ranks at Benfica suddenly returned after he appeared to play heavy-handed at Stamford Bridge.

His first goal on Tuesday night was fantastic, shot with precision and passed between a defender’s legs and to the near post.

His assist, a perfect long-range cross over Robert Lewandowski’s goal, was brilliant. Suddenly it seems great.

And his sudden resurgence after several years of indifferent form will raise eyebrows across the Premier League.

Chelsea considered bringing him back despite his relatively poor performances during his loan spell in the spring, but decided against it, with the player reportedly rejecting the chance to join Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa.

Chelsea’s decision, perfectly reasonable on paper, now looks rather foolish, while their Premier League rivals appear to have missed out on a real gem.

Felix’s comments after the win against Antwerp are also likely to spark some sideways glances at Stamford Bridge.

“I’m very happy because I enjoy it. “My teammates help me a lot,” he said. “It’s easy to play in this team. When you have a good structure, all the players are in their place and the ball moves quickly, it’s easier to score goals.

The implication, of course, is that the structures at Chelsea and Atlético were sub-standard, although the motivation and management of people also needs to be scrutinized at both clubs.

Diego Simeone’s stern, stentorian style clearly didn’t work for Félix, but neither did Graham Potter’s more laissez-faire attitude, nor what Frank Lampard did.

These are three managers who failed to understand an extraordinarily talented player, and two clubs whose systems failed to hit the right notes.

There are probably some lessons to be learned from how quickly the Portuguese striker found his smile again, just three games after teaming up with Xavi.

So good vibes were needed, and God knows there were few of those at Chelsea last season – and while Simone is clearly the type of manager who will rub some the wrong way, he certainly has an impressive body of work behind him. in the Spanish capital.

Since Clearlake Capital took over Chelsea, everything seems to be going wrong from top to bottom.

They have a huge roster of talented players, but the lack of a solid structure and the constant chaos caused by endless player substitutions seems to have spoiled the atmosphere.

It probably helps Felix that he also plays on the left wing, which he says has been his preferred position in the past, and that he plays in a fluid tactical formation that suits him perfectly.

Simeone’s rigid methodology at Madrid never seemed to suit Félix well, while Chelsea largely played him as a number ten thanks to the flood of wingers they signed soon after Todd Boehly took over the bank.

His rapid return to form when placed in the right role and in the right team speaks volumes about Chelsea’s confusing buying strategy, which lacks holistic considerations or joint thinking between the recruitment and coaching systems .

If Chelsea had the wrong tactical setup to get the best out of Félix and didn’t need him in his best position, they shouldn’t have signed him in the first place.

Talent alone is not enough to make change positive; you need the right tools for the job at hand.

If Chelsea don’t give Mauricio Pochettino the chance to put his own tactical stamp on the team and provide him with the players he needs to make it happen, he will find himself shuffling from one manager to another as they buy. and sell players at an impressive rate.

So Félix’s rise from what seemed like the ashes of his career is not only a joy to watch, but also a lesson to Chelsea’s still inexperienced owners in how there is more to this business than just identification and purchase of talents.

Some reports suggest that it was actually Arsenal and Liverpool who opted for Felix, rather than the other way around – which would seem to make sense given their current options at left-back – and avoided a transfer that could have been a mistake.

Realizing that his talents would be a good cultural and strategic addition to their team, Barcelona seemed to have made an excellent signing.

Chelsea have yet to make such decisions at the same level or with any consistency, and the result has been that several big-money players have struggled despite undeniable natural ability.

They have the resources to build a brilliant team at Stamford Bridge, but until they learn from Felix’s failure at the club, they will make far too many mistakes to realize that vision.

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